My first PU blank

I bought a couple of PU blanks from Pau Hanna a while ago and I just got around to shaping one.

So far I've done one board from a home made XPS blank and one from a home made EPS blank. This is my first board shaped from a pre-made PU blank.

I cannot believe how simple and easy it was to do it this way. I feel like I've seen the light! I got this whole board shaped in a matter of a few of hours. All I have left is some final sanding and I'm ready for glass.

That brings up the next couple of issues. First off I don't know what to do about a fin box. I've decided not to do glass on fins for this board but I've never done a fin box before so I don't know where to start.

Second, since the shaping went so quickly it got me thinking about PE resin. I've only ever used epoxy and I understand that PE is much faster. The only PE I've ever used is the stuff they sell at Home Depot which I understand is not very high quality. I don't like using that stuff because the odor is so strong. I'm wondering if a quality PE resin would be less offensive.

So any advice on either of those topics would be appreciated. I'll be searching the archives as well.

Here's a shot of what I have so far. I was thinking "mini gun" as I was shaping it but I honestly don't know if that's what I achieved. It does "look" like a surfboard though. At least to my untrained eye it does.

Howzit Squaly? I think you will find that working with PU is the easiest and in my view the most satisfying. Maybe because that is what I cut my teeth on and still think it’s best. It machines beautifully and is nice to sand. If you go with the polyesther, make sure you are using surfboard “specific” resin. It won’t yellow or brown up like boat resin. It will always have the voc’s and ALWAYS use a mask, even if you hate wearing one. As for fin boxes, if you have a router, Probox is hard to beat. If not, try one of the types that take only a hole saw to mortise. Best is to set boxes first and glass over for the strength…huge plus! Good Luck!

ps. Don’t you just love the way PU screens?


I recommend getting suncure polyester resin for surf boards.  I used the resin from Home Depot to install some fins and boxes.  I don’t know about the quality, but they market their resin as ‘fiberglass resin,’ ready to be sanded in a few hours.  And that claim is true.  However, the nice sanding properties of the Home Depot stuff means it has a surfacing agent in it(wax) and is not the best way to laminate a board or install fins and boxes.  You need a good laminating resin resin for laminating your board and installing boxes and good sanding resin (for which you can mix your own) for the hot coat. The H.D. stuff is also green and cures green.  I  mixed some white in with mine and got a nice opaque green color that I like, but I don’t recommend it for your project.  Mike

I always say that shaping PU after working with EPS is like cutting through soft butter.

The good thing about epoxy is that it will work on PU blanks. You may want to do that for your first board if you already have enough resin. You’ll be comfortable with it.

There are 3 types of poly resin Laminating, Sanding and Finishing. You use them for the different steps. You can add wax additive to convert laminating resin into sanding resin, but finishing resin is different.

Get a good surfboard resin if you want to use poly. UV cure poly resin is going to be like going from EPS to PU foam. Quick and easy.

If you can;  use UV polyester.  I've talked my head off about it in past threads.  Check the archives.  You'll be blown away by the simplicity of doing a lam and hotcoat with it.  Use catalyst in UV poly resin for your fin boxes and leash plugs as UV light won't penetrate resin and filler down in the hole.  A little catalyst will insure it sets around and under the box or plug.  They can say what they will about FCS plugs, but they are the easiest install(especially for the inexperinced) and are usually done after the hotcoat.  No need for glass over or under the plug.  Same method/install as a leash plug.  All you need is a hole saw or a Forrester bit.  Best method is to use both and a piece of metal conduit as a sleeve or guide.  Use milled fiber and a little white pigment to set them and they will be plenty strong.  I use white gelcoat and milled fiber.  Your not supposed to be running aground on cobblestone points and corral reefs.   Capiche?

Thanks guys.

So a couple of more specific questions.

What brand of PE do you recommend? (lowest VOC). My workspace is an attached garage with living space on the other side of the door. When I used the HD stuff I had to evacuate the house for a day before the odor subsided.

Second question: A search of the archives seems to indicate that Probox is the preferred finbox solution. Does that still hold true?

ALso, the finbox goes in before or after glassing the rest of the board?


Oh, and I think it was Tblank that mentioned screening PU? Yeah man, I think I found religion!


Check your PM.  Couldn't post.  Spam filter kicked in.

Thanks mcding, got your pm.

good info!

whats a good filter to use with pe?

i have a painters mask but im not sure if the filters are up to snuff.

i forget the brand name but i bought it at home depot. its not the paper dust mask thing, its the kind with a rubber face mask and replaceable filters.


Always buy a respirator that you can change and replace the filter cartidges on.  Filters should be of the charcoal type.  If yours is the type that can't be changed you will get 2-4 boards out of it then you've got to chuck it.  I use Binks and have for years.  They have a screw on charcoal filter and a cotton pre-filter.  The charcoal takes care of the fumes and the cotton pre-filter  handles the dust particles.  A Binks cost around $50 or more.  I haven't bought one in a few years because I have three or so that are in good condition and if taken care of last a long time.  Each time you are done with it put it inside a zip-lock bag until next use.  If you put it on in a fume free room or outside and there is a strong smell of resin;   it's time to change the charcoal cartridges.   You'll get alot of use out of it if you are using UV.  Nowhere near the fumes with UV and they are aren't as toxic.  You'll only have to change the pre-filter once to every two or three sets of cartriges if you are not using it to sand.  For sanding I just use an OSHA approved particle mask.  Been awhile since I've bought any cartirdges because I haven't been glassing  my own blanks the last few years.  It seems like a pair was in the $20 range last time I bought a pair.  Remember;  They are YOUR lungs.  But UV is defintely a lot easier on them.

double post

     Howzit Squalyboy,I think it's 3M that makes the chemical respirator I have and it cost $25 with cartridges and cotton prefilters,it has 2 of each. I got mine from Fiberglass Hi, but have seen them at paint stores and some hardware stores. As for up keep of it just do what McDing said and it will last for years. Aloha,Kokua

Triple post!  Ha!  thought I got spammed.

I've had this one on the shelf for a while and i'm just getting back to it now. I'm looking for suggestions for a fin setup. I want to install fin boxes just because I never have and I want to learn how but I'm confused about which setup to use. I'll probably go with probox because they get a lot of good press on this forum or I might go with futures because they seem easy to come by and I found a nice looking install kit over at Fiberglass Supply. FCS seems like the easiest to install but I want to stay away from them for just that reason. I want to learn and I don't think I'll learn as much that way.

I'm not too concerned with dialing in the fin placement to suit my style because I'm not a very good surfer. I'm more concerned with what someone else might find attractive if I decided to give the board away or sell it so I'm mostly trying to figure out what would work best with this board. I've been checking out other boards that look similar and the more I look the more confused I get.

Thruster? 2+1? Quad?

Anyone care to point me in the right direction?

if you have a router i hear probox are amazing. they take fcs fins as well, if im not mistaken. Cant really tell how wide your board and tail are, but im a big fan of boards with five fin boxes so it ca be ridden as a quad or a thruster, more room to tinker. props on the boards, looks good!

Thanks quilldogg.

My son had the same suggestion. I like the idea because it will give me alot of practice.

I also use the probox’s. I have made 10 boards with them now and love them. They are very easy to install. Only suggestion is find the thread by afoaf about installing them. Very informatiive and has a great suggestion for using tape on the board under the jigs. The only gripe I have about Probox’s is cleaning the glue off the jigs and the board afterwards. Putting the tape down first at least solves it on the board.


Ah the confusion continues....

I made up my mind to go with a Probox five fin setup.

That way I could ride it as a quad or a thruster and judge for myself what the difference is.

Then, overthinking things as I tend to do, I thought it only makes sense That I should be able to ride it as a single fin too. Right? 

Problem is I don't see any probox single fins. That means I would have to install the center fin using a longboard type of box, no? If I do that how would I match the center fin to the side fins when I want to ride it as a thruster,  assuming that the Probox thruster fin won't fit in the longboard box?

Somebody set me straight. I'm getting a headache! 

If your doing a sinle fin with side bite 1+2 setup that’s different than a thruster. A single fin is a different box than a quad or thruster box also they have different size fina for this. If your doing a 5 fin setup your using the same jigs for all 5 boxes. Just make sure your placemen is correct. Also u can cut the jigs if they are to clustered.

Finaly got this one finished and had it out for a surf.

I am well pleased with myself!

I decided to go with a five fin box setup. Quad Probox plus a single fin box.

I have it setup as a quad fin right now but will test it as a single fin plus side bites next time out.

Oh yeah, and I decided to stick with Resin Research epoxy for the glass job instead of PE. Maybe next time.

Looks good SB…

do you have more shots?